Marc Polmans makes title breakthrough, Gabriella Taylor first time lucky at Launceston International

THANKS: Marc Polmans. Pictures: Paul Scambler
THANKS: Marc Polmans. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Launceston International winners Marc Polmans and Gabriella Taylor had their own personal backstories to tell behind the pair’s straight-set victories in both Sunday’s anticlimactic singles finals.

That went just beyond the 2018 men’s and women’s champions not dropping a set for the entire week.

Polmans had again proven near unstoppable in a landmark 6-2, 6-2 title-clincher over Brad Mousley from the tournament’s inaugural all-Australian men’s final.

The 22-year-old earned his first ATP challenger event on the tour in Launceston after Polmans’ South African parents packed up their old life for his promising career.

“My mum and dad really wanted me to pursue my tennis dream to be the best I possibly could,” he said.

“They knew in South Africa I wasn’t going to be able to achieve the best there. It was a big sacrifice and I’m happy they made that decision.”

The Polmans relocated from Durban to Melbourne when their son was just 10.

Just a decade later, Polmans would link up with current coach Peter Luczak.

The one-time Australian Davis Cup doubles hero calls his protege one of the hardest workers in the game.

“Luc is just a really intense person, so I try to listen to everything he says,” Polmans said. “He’s all about that staying focus is a massive part of the game.”

Taylor virtually arrived in Launceston a total unknown, but walked away a 6-3-6-4 holder of the title to cap off a stunning early-career comeback to the sport.

The 19-year-old Brit had shocked the fourth-seeded American Asia Muhammad that has no answers to her confident strokeplay. 

DELIGHTED: Gabriella Taylor.

DELIGHTED: Gabriella Taylor.

But that positivity came on the back of complications with her health that had Taylor bedridden for months and missing a significant chunk of the 2016 season.

That seems like a lifetime ago from the illness that cast doubts on her playing days.

“It’s not always going to be smiles on the court, but the more you enjoy it out there, the more I think you can perform and do your job,” Taylor said. “I’m really happy where I am right now and every little win helps boost your confidence.”

But for now, Taylor is lapping up what the Launceston sun has done for her future and what the fans have done for her soul.

“I’m still really happy with this week, but I am still just building from this,” she said.